Fruit and vegetables have health and nutritional value, but can also be a source of toxic contaminants such as pesticide residues.
The aim of this study was to evaluate presence of pesticide residues in fruit and vegetable crops from the central and eastern region of Poland in order to check the compliance of these products with the maximum residue levels' (MRLs) requirements set in legal EU regulation for products present in the market.
Samples of fruit and vegetables were obtained from production farms as a part of an official premarket monitoring of pesticide residues conducted on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, implemented in cooperation with the regional Inspectorates of Plant Health and Seed Inspection. The tests covered determination of 207 pesticides.
In 2014, a total of 317 samples of fruit and vegetables, collected from the central and eastern region of Poland, were analysed for the presence of pesticide residues. Pesticide residues were detected in 89 (28.1%) analysed samples: in 65 (38.2%) samples of fruit, and in 24 (16.3%) samples of vegetables. MRLs were exceeded in 2 samples (0.6%). Most often, the pesticide residues were found in gooseberry (100% of gooseberry samples) and apple (71.4%).
Monitoring of pesticide residues in the agricultural crops at premarket stage should be continued to prevent market from the penetration by products with non-acceptable residues of pesticides and to protect consumers against excessive exposure to pesticide residues.